Did you hear about the toddler who spent $200 on her mom’s iPhone? A toggle on the settings menu could have overruled the spending spree. iPhones and iPads are networked mobile computers, not LeapPads. Making it “kid-friendly” takes some customization. This App Friday, along with introducing some featured apps, we’ll include a refresher on Settings > General > Restrictions. Fun fun!
Setting Up Your “Settings”
From your home screen on your iDevice, go to Settings > General > Restrictions. Once you enable restrictions with a passcode, the following options are available to you.
- Airplane Mode (no internet connectivity)
- No Internet Browser (Safari disappears)
- No YouTube (YouTube “app” disappears)
- Locations services can switch off
- The ability to install and delete apps can be managed
- In App Purchases can be turned off
- Requiring a password for each purchase can be turned on
- Media content can be filtered by age ratings
- Social gaming (Game Center) can be turned off
Featured Apps (Click the image to read the app descriptions in iTunes. App Friday promotional pricing lasts until 8pm US PST Friday, unless extended by the developer.)
Love To Count by Pirate Trio, FREE for App Friday. NOTES: Beautiful app, really nice user interface and graphics. Some social media integration behind the ship wheel on the home screen, and a link to their website under “more games”. Overall very high quality. They have two more titles on special this App Friday, also check out Love to Read on sale for $.99, and Shapes and Puzzles on sale for $.99.
Princesses Learn Spanish by Early Languages, FREE to download with one book. Additional books $1.99 via In App Purchase. NOTES: I’d encourage parental participation after downloading the app to “enter” into the free book to trial the app. The stories are written in English, but there are keywords narrated in Spanish. I thought the bingo game was effective for making connections between English and Spanish words, along with the coloring activity. If you like this app, check out their Chinese and French apps as well.
ABC Phonics Short Vowel Words by Abitalk, FREE for App Friday. NOTES: You can choose which short vowel to focus on (A, E, I, O, or U) from the menu screen after choosing “new game”. The child has to read the fish to determine if they should select the corresponding short vowel sound. Abitalk has over 30 apps that focus on specific phonetic goals, like rhyming, long vowels, consonants, and first words. They have plans to upgrade apps with customization tools this year, so stay tuned.
Sight Words Hangman by Marcel Widarto, FREE for App Friday. NOTES: I like the simple interface where you tap the sight word that corresponds to the audio queue. This type of thing would be good for my 6yo who is in first grade and focused on building her reading vocabulary. There are over 25 word lists to choose from. There is nothing to take you outside of the app (no social media, purchasing, ads, or networked gaming), it’s just a good old fashioned app.
Space Math by Lunchbox Apps (SmarTots Enabled), Free for App Friday. NOTES: This is the first SmarTots-enabled app I’ve downloaded. If you aren’t familiar with SmarTots, it’s a reporting platform for parents and teachers so you have access to data on how the app is being used. The app is accessible without registering for SmarTots, but assigning student users is still required. Once in the app, my daughter tested the “math defense” challenge. She shooed me away so she could focus on the task, and afterwards, I was able to check the stats of her session under “My Stats”. One cool thing about “Math Defense” is that you can tap the UFO and scratch paper will pop down for free-form problem solving. Space Math was the winner of the SmarTots “Quest for Best” contest, and this demo video explains the capabilities and integration in more detail.
News On The Wall
The Moms With Apps Facebook Wall is open for public postings. If app developers have news to share this App Friday (like all of the MWA developers who are in the running for Best App Ever), please feel free to post. We’ll see you there!
The Link Exchange
Add links to your favorite apps, blog posts, Facebook pages – or any link that covers family-friendly apps. Please include the app name (or page name) in the Link Title, your email, and a URL. Thanks for participating!